MYTH: The American people are footing the bill for Iraq’s security and reconstruction while Iraqis sit on large windfall oil profits.
FACT: The Iraqi government is taking over the funding of reconstruction. In 2008, Iraq’s budget for large-scale reconstruction projects exceeds that proposed by the U.S. by more than 10 to 1, and the U.S. military expects that Iraq will soon cover 100 percent of such expenses.
FACT: Iraq's security ministries are now spending more on their security forces than the U.S., and Iraq’s 2008 budget provides for more than 75% of the total annual cost for Iraq’s military and police.
FACT: Iraq’s Ambassador to the U.S., Samir Sumaida'ie, says that Iraq still has to import gasoline, and argues that “some people are going a little bit too far looking at the Iraqi surplus and the gigantic American deficit and putting two and two together … The windfall from the oil will not cover a fraction of what we need to provide clean water, electricity and the most rudimentary services for our people.”
MYTH: Iraqis are not defending their country.
FACT: As General David Petraeus testified in April, Iraqis are increasingly in the fight, recently incurring losses three times the level of Coalition losses.
FACT: Iraqi soldiers, police, and volunteers are securing their nation in increasing numbers. According to General Petraeus, more than 540,000 individuals serve in Iraq’s Security Forces, with more than 133,000 soldiers and police added over the past 16 months.
FACT: The military reports that there are now more than 91,000 Sons of Iraq — Shia as well as Sunni — under contract to help Coalition and Iraqi Forces protect neighborhoods and secure infrastructure.
Read more from Steve Shippert at The Tank.